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Has anyone used a cold plate to control LBK fermentation temp?

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I saw a thermo-electric cold plate that I thought might allow me to keep brewing this summer. Our house is getting on the hot side and we don't have AC. Has anyone tried this? I was thinking I could put it under the LBK with a temp controller and put a sensor through the cap 

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It might work OK if you get a nice one. Plastic is an insulator so it would probably work better with glass carboys. But if you have it in a cooler or something, it might be more effective.

 

This handy tool will be going on the market soon since they reached their Kickstarter goal: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/433436998/brewjacket-immersion-lager-beer-without-a-refriger/description. I'm wondering if the technology could be adapted to be used with the LBK? I'll have to look into it...

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This handy tool will be going on the market soon since they reached their Kickstarter goal: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/433436998/brewjacket-immersion-lager-beer-without-a-refriger/description. I'm wondering if the technology could be adapted to be used with the LBK? I'll have to look into it...

They made over 100K by sticking an aquarium chiller in a carboy?  I've got some prime swampland in Florida I'll sell you.

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Yes the brew jacket is a reality it seems.  I posted this a few weeks ago.

http://www.brewjacket.com

 

Talking with a designer friend I was told thermo/electric = Peltier systems are energy hogs even though they are low voltage.

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Looks like a happy ending comes to those who work and have numerous resources.

 

I am using a copper coil that covers the lenth of the LBK inside and a liquid PC CPU cooler. If it works well then PC control can inhibit pump and fan speed. I am expecting 5-8^ from ambient, A bowl of ice next to the condenser fan will get it done but cause as much maintenance as the cooler/ice bottle method

 

I have a third LBK and now ready for testing. Brewing 2 batches tomorrow.

I like the aquarium chiller but it is pricey, We might as well have a small fridge for the price.

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Don't have to be well off to get this done.

 

I have a nice GE Profile refrigerator with custom wood cabinet facing that I got from CL for $75.  I absconded with my in-law's upright freezer, but could have found one on CL.  My temp controller plus paint can heater was built for $30 by me.  

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Thanks for the feedback! The cooler on the brew jacket is basically what I was looking at, I was going to mount it on a little stand made of aluminum and sit the LBK ON top of it. I was also thinking of putting a box in the plate to hold dry ice for a backup.

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Don't have to be well off to get this done.

 

 

No you don't.  I got a small 30 yr. old chest freezer for nothing that was destined for Good Will if no one claimed it.  I paired it with an STC-1000 temp. controller and a heat strip for $50 in parts.

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You Don't have to be well off, But if the ideal cooling system cost under a hundred bucks and does not aquire the realestate of a bedroom. (for some)

 

Would you buy it?

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A 4.5CF mini fridge has the footprint of a nightstand.  The electrical box for the STC is about the size of a tissue box and can be mounted to the wall.  You don't need much space for a temp. controlled fermenter.  A HERMS system for all grain on the other hand...

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No you don't.  I got a small 30 yr. old chest freezer for nothing that was destined for Good Will if no one claimed it.  I paired it with an STC-1000 temp. controller and a heat strip for $50 in parts.

Naive question but how do you insert a temperature probe inside a fridge without damaging the integrity of the fridge. Don't you need to drill a hole in the door or the wall to insert the probe?

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Naive question but how do you insert a temperature probe inside a fridge without damaging the integrity of the fridge. Don't you need to drill a hole in the door or the wall to insert the probe?

 

On most refrigerators, most of the important components are stored in the back. I've made many kegerators and have drilled lots of holes in the door and in the sides with no issues.

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You run the skinny wire right through the opening that the big door creates, then close the door on the wire.  Tiny wire, little leakage.  No drilling needed.

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You run the skinny wire right through the opening that the big door creates, then close the door on the wire.  Tiny wire, little leakage.  No drilling needed.

 

Yeah, that's how our chest freezers are set up here.

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I saw a thermo-electric cold plate that I thought might allow me to keep brewing this summer. Our house is getting on the hot side and we don't have AC. Has anyone tried this? I was thinking I could put it under the LBK with a temp controller and put a sensor through the cap

no a/c? Whew! where do u live? i live in the Midwest, if i dnt have a/c, i'll probably die.....

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You run the skinny wire right through the opening that the big door creates, then close the door on the wire.  Tiny wire, little leakage.  No drilling needed.

That is exactly how I did it.  I used a piece of duct tape to cover the wire where the door closes on it.  To make the door seal even better, you can put a thin coat of silicone grease on the gasket.

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Thanks for this. I have a small fridge that our daughter used while at college and was hoping to be able to use this so that I could brew and make wines during the hot (90 plus) summer days we are having here in the NE... so this looks very doable...

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I have one of those also, for the same reason-daughter graduated from college, and was going to use it as a fermentation cooler. Sure would beat changing ice bottles every morning. However as it turns out the compressor takes up the back and bottom 1/4 of the fridge compartment so the compartment is a little too small.

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I posted it in another thread but you can take off the door to the fridge and build it out to be bigger. Basically making an insulated crate with a door and the mini fridge in the crate.

http://www.nchomebrewing.com/diy-mini-fridge-beer-fermentation-chamber-build/

It seems to me that if the insulation was not done perfectly on this sort of modification, the cost of extra electricity alone would be enough to pay for the purchase of a proper fridge timely.

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Thanks for this. I have a small fridge that our daughter used while at college and was hoping to be able to use this so that I could brew and make wines during the hot (90 plus) summer days we are having here in the NE... so this looks very doable...

Definitely take some measurements.  Before I got my chest freezer, I was looking at mini fridges.  Several of them were not big enough.  I have seen people modify mini fridges by removing the plastic door bins and freezer compartment to make more space.  Search YouTube for "how to build a kegerator."  I did find a 4.5CF fridge that Lowes sells which, according to my measurements, was big enough for 1 LBK. 

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It seems to me that if the insulation was not done perfectly on this sort of modification, the cost of extra electricity alone would be enough to pay for the purchase of a proper fridge timely.

He answers that question in the question and answer section.  You have to keep in mind that the insulation he used is better than is in a fridge to begin with.

In the other thread I posted a link to a extreme multi-layer cabinet someone built using a similar concept.

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